digestive health
 
Featured in: General Health  |  June 14, 2018

Listening to Your Gut: How to Keep Your Digestive System Healthy

By Elena Doxey

Did you ever get the gut feeling something is wrong? This kind of feeling usually applies to something that’s going on around you, but when it comes to your health, it could genuinely be something that’s going on inside of you. Our gastrointestinal (GI) health, or “gut health,” is more important than you may realize. With about 100 trillion bacteria (yes, that’s trillion with a “t”) living in our gut, it’s no wonder our digestive system can get out of whack if we’re not maintaining a proper balance of good and harmful bacteria.

How healthy is your gut? If you’re not sure, let’s first start with the basics in how to keep your digestive system healthy.

What is the “gut”?

Simply stated, the “gut” is our body’s digestive system (or intestinal tract) that is made up of the stomach and small and large intestines. It’s where our body processes food to bring it nourishment and energy. In fact, about 70 percent of our body’s immune system lives in our gut, which explains why the levels of good and bad bacteria can have a significant impact on our health.

Benefits of healthy digestion

Maintaining a healthy gut, along with digestive wellness, is critical to your well-being and allows you to enjoy life to its fullest. And it’s not as hard to maintain as you may think. Our large intestine has colonies of beneficial bacteria called flora, which help keep our intestinal tract (or GI tract) functioning efficiently and are instrumental in warding off disease. Good bacteria in your digestive tract can have a positive effect on how your body:

  • Absorbs vitamins and minerals
  • Regulates hormones
  • Produces vitamins
  • Eliminates toxins
  • Effectively digests food
  • Reacts to immune response
  • Maintains positive mental health

Signs of an unhealthy gut

Is your gut healthy? If your digestive problems are holding you back from enjoying life, then you already know the answer just by the way you feel. It’s possible that harmful bacteria have already started to take over if you’ve been experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating after meals
  • Reflux
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Weakened immune system
  • Sugar cravings, which include refined carbohydrate foods

Body and mind connection

A healthy digestive system equals a happy brain. It’s been said our gut is like a second brain, and it controls more than just digestion. In fact, the gut can impact mood, mental health and memory!  There are about 100 million nerve cells that line our intestinal tract, which scientists call our Enteric Nervous System (ENS.) This system is responsible for controlling digestion, and it also communicates between our gut and brain to relay the state of our overall gut health and immune system. Not maintaining a healthy stomach can affect your mental health and possibly lead to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood changes

Key to staying happy

Ninety percent (90%) of serotonin, or what some call the “happy” hormone, is produced in the digestive tract. Diet has a direct impact on keeping the balance of good bacteria in check. Some tips to improving digestive health include:

  • Eating a healthy diet, including raw fruits and vegetables
  • Avoiding or limiting sugar
  • Exercising
  • Including probiotic supplements

Restoring gut health with probiotics

Let’s go back to the 100 trillion bacteria in our guts for a minute. To restore healthy gut health, you want to aim for an ideal ratio of 85 percent good bacteria to 15 percent bad bacteria. So, how do you get to those numbers? Probiotics.

You’ve probably heard about probiotics by now. But do you know what they are? Probiotics are the “good” type of live bacteria and yeasts that help keep your gut healthy by balancing the “good” and “bad” bacteria.

The power of probiotics is making significant strides for those who suffer from some form of poor digestive health. In fact, certain research findings reveal it’s more beneficial to take a probiotic than a multi-vitamin. There are too many to mention, but more than 170 diseases were explored in over 200 studies which revealed how probiotics can help or treat some common conditions, including:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Antibiotic-related diarrhea

Additional research showed probiotics were helpful with conditions outside of the digestive tract, and these included:

  • Urinary and vaginal health
  • Skin conditions, like eczema
  • Oral health
  • Prevention of allergies and even the common cold

Products that make a difference

Natures Plus has created GI Natural Total Digestive Wellness (GI Natural Bi-Layered Tablets and GI Natural Drink Powder), a line of products that go above and beyond ordinary digestive aids and probiotics sold on the market today. This product lineup is a powerhouse of total digestive wellness that is formulated for complete healthy digestion. Our expertly formulated products soothe, heal and rejuvenate your system by bringing your life back into balance. GI NaturalTM gets you back in the game by:

  • Promoting digestive ease and comfort
  • Boosting your mood and reducing stress
  • Regaining your social confidence
  • Achieving your true vitality
  • Promoting better sleep and waking up refreshed
  • Enhancing your immune defenses
  • Absorbing more wholesome nutrition from foods

Don’t let your digestive problems hold you back from getting the most out of life. Having a healthy digestive system can put you back in the driver’s seat to enjoying a lifetime of well-being. GI NaturalTM can help you get there. Contact us to learn more.

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